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Gilgo Beach murders – updates: Serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann charged with fourth murder

Gilgo Beach murders – updates: Serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann charged with fourth murder

Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann is back in court today where he is expected to be formally charged with the murder of a fourth victim.

The 60-year-old Manhattan architect appeared in Suffolk County Courthouse in Riverhead, Long Island – a hearing that comes weeks before the accused killer had been scheduled to return to court.

Mr Heuermann was arrested back in July in what marked a bombshell development in the notorious case that had rumbled on unsolved for over a decade, after the remains of 11 victims were found dumped along the shores.

At the time, he was charged with the murders of Megan Waterman, Amber Costello and Melissa Barthelemy – who each vanished after going to meet a client for sex work.

On Tuesday, Mr Heuermann was charged with a fourth murder related to the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Together, the four women he’s accused of killing are known as the “Gilgo Four”.

Suffolk County DA Raymond Tierney held a press conference after the court appearance, remarking on the “cutting edge” technology that led to the new charges.

Key points

Welcome to The Independent’s live blog

Tuesday 16 January 2024 10:51 , Rachel Sharp

Follow updates here as Rex Heuermann returns to court

Full story: Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann expected to be charged with fourth murder

Tuesday 16 January 2024 10:55 , Rachel Sharp

Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann is expected to be charged with the murder of a fourth woman, whose body was found dumped along the shores of Long Island over a decade ago.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney is slated to announce what is tipped to be a “significant development” in the investigation into the Gilgo Beach killings in a press conference on Tuesday morning, according to a press release from his office.

The briefing – joined by members of the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr, and Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Robert Waring – will take place after Mr Heuermann appears for a court hearing at 9.30am ET at the Suffolk County Courthouse in Riverhead on Long Island.

In the court appearance, new charges are expected to be unsealed against Mr Heuermann, sources told NBC News and CBS News.

Read the full story:

Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect expected to be charged with fourth murder

Suffolk County officials announce ‘significant development’ in Gilgo Beach murders case

Tuesday 16 January 2024 11:05 , Rachel Sharp

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney is slated to announce what is tipped to be a “significant development” in the investigation into the Gilgo Beach killings in a press conference on Tuesday morning, according to a press release from his office.

In an announcement, shared with the media on Monday, the DA’s office announced a press briefing at 9.30am ET.

The briefing – joined by members of the Gilgo Beach Homicide Investigation Task Force, Suffolk County Sheriff Errol Toulon Jr, and Acting Suffolk County Police Commissioner Robert Waring – will take place after Mr Heuermann appears for a court hearing at the Suffolk County Courthouse in Riverhead on Long Island.

What time is Rex Heuermann in court?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 11:20 , Rachel Sharp

Rex Heuermann is scheduled to appear in court at the Suffolk County Courthouse in Riverhead on Long Island at 9.30 am ET on Tuesday.

The accused serial killer had not been expected to appear in court until February, but a new hearing was slated for 16 January.

In the court appearance, new charges are expected to be unsealed against Mr Heuermann, sources told NBC News and CBS News.

The accused killer is already charged with the murders of three women – Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.

Now, he is expected to be hit with charges over the murder of a fourth woman.

The Independent will give you all the updates here.

Who is Rex Heuermann?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 11:40 , Rachel Sharp

His Manhattan business described him as a registered architect with over 30 years’ experience.

His neighbours described him as a “family man” living with his wife and two children in a tight-knit community in Suffolk County.

But now authorities are describing him as the suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer who unleashed terror along the shores of Long Island more than a decade ago.

Rex Heuermann was arrested on 13 July in connection to the shocking murder case where body after body was found dumped along the remote beaches on Ocean Parkway.

So who is the man suspected of being the infamous Long Island serial killer?

Who is Rex Heuermann?

Who are the Gilgo Beach victims?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 12:00 , Rachel Sharp

The remains of at least 11 victims were found in the Gilgo Beach area though it remains unclear if they are all the work of the same killer. Many were sex workers who offered escort services on Craigslist or worked in New York City.

The first victim found was Melissa Barthelemy, whose remains were discovered along Ocean Parkway on 11 December 2010 during the search for Shannan Gilbert – a 24-year-old sex worker from New Jersey who vanished after visiting a client in Oak Park and making a chilling 911 call where she revealed fears for her life.

Two days later on 13 December, the remains of three other victims – Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello – were found close by.

All three women were known to advertise escort services on Craigslist.

Brainard-Barnes was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City while Costello was last seen leaving her North Babylon home one day in early September 2010. Waterman was last seen alive in early June 2010 at a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge.

Brainard-Barnes, Waterman, Costello and Barthelemy are known as “the Gilgo Four”.

This combination of undated image provided by the Suffolk County Police Department, shows Melissa Barthelemy, top left, Amber Costello, top right, Megan Waterman, bottom left, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes. (AP)
This combination of undated image provided by the Suffolk County Police Department, shows Melissa Barthelemy, top left, Amber Costello, top right, Megan Waterman, bottom left, and Maureen Brainard-Barnes. (AP)

Seven months later, on 26 July 2011, the remains of Jessica Taylor were found in a wooded area in Manorville during the ongoing search for Gilbert. Taylor worked as an escort in New York City.

Valerie Mack also worked as an escort but was last seen alive in Philadelphia in 2000. Her remains were found on two separate occasions in Manorville in 2000 and in Oak Beach in 2011 but she was only identified in 2020 through the use of genetic genealogy.

On 4 August 2023, Long Island officials announced that another victim – known as Jane Doe 7 or Fire Island Jane Doe – had also finally been identified as 34-year-old Karen Vergata who was last seen alive in Manhattan in 1996 while working as an escort.

Some of the victims have never been identified.

The skeletal remains of an Asian male, aged between 17 and 23 years old, around 5 feet 6 inches tall and with poor dental health, were found along Ocean Parkway in April 2011. He is believed to have died around five to 10 years earlier.

That same day, the remains of a female toddler were discovered. She was later identified as the daughter of the also-unidentified female victim dubbed “Peaches” whose remains were found in Nassau County.

WATCH: Moment Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann was arrested on crowded New York street

Tuesday 16 January 2024 12:20 , Rachel Sharp

This is the moment that Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect Rex Heuermann was arrested on a crowded New York street back in July.

Gilgo Beach murders: What happened to the victims?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 12:40 , Rachel Sharp

For around two decades, the sands and marshes of Long Island’s Gilgo Beach kept a dark secret.

A killer or killers roamed the locality, luring in escorts and sex workers and brutally murdering them.

Body after body was dumped along the shoreline, hidden for months and even years without being discovered.

Then, in 2010, a chilling 911 call made by a woman in fear for her life led police to search the area.

What they discovered was far more horrifying than anyone could have imagined.

Over the next year, the remains of 11 victims – mainly female escorts – were discovered dumped in the area, plunging the Suffolk County community into terror.

But, the case went cold and no arrests were made, no suspects were named and there was no justice for the victims and their families.

That is, until now...

The hunt for the Gilgo Beach serial killer

How a pizza crust was used to match DNA evidence

Tuesday 16 January 2024 13:00 , Rachel Sharp

Rex Heuermann’s DNA was found on one of the victims, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors said that a male hair had been found on the burlap used to wrap Waterman’s body before the killer dumped her along Gilgo Beach.

When the hair was first retrieved in 2010, it was unsuitable for DNA analysis, according to the court documents.

But that hair was kept safely locked away and was submitted for analysis in 2020. A DNA profile came back.

A pizza box discarded by Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann was used to link him to the killings through DNA (Suffolk County DA)
A pizza box discarded by Gilgo Beach suspect Rex Heuermann was used to link him to the killings through DNA (Suffolk County DA)

Now, to check if it matched Mr Heuermann, investigators needed his DNA to compare the samples.

This January, a surveillance team watching the suspect saw him chuck a pizza box into the trash close to his office in Manhattan.

They nabbed the box and found a leftover pizza crust inside.

The forensics later came back: it was Mr Heuermann’s hair found on Waterman’s body.

What happened to Shannan Gilbert?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 13:20 , Rachel Sharp

The hunt for the Gilgo Beach killer all began when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman working as a sex worker, disappeared.

It was one night in May 2010 when Gilbert called 911 for help after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach.

In the chilling call, released last year, Gilbert is heard repeatedly telling the 911 operator that “somebody’s after me” and saying that she feared for her life.

She is also heard arguing with a man – who she refers to as Mike – who appears to be trying to encourage her to get back into a car; at one point, she is heard asking if he is “going to kill” her.

“These people are plotting to kill me,” she tells the dispatcher.

She was never seen alive again.

During a search for Gilbert in dense thicket close to the beach, police discovered the remains of a different woman.

Over the next weeks and months, 10 victims were found before Gilbert’s body was found in December 2011.

Her cause of death is widely contested, with authorities long claiming that it is not connected to the serial killer or killers but that she died from accidental drowning as she fled from the client’s home.

However, an independent autopsy commissioned by her family ruled that she died by strangulation.

Shannan Gilbert (Family)
Shannan Gilbert (Family)

How did they catch the Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 13:40 , Rachel Sharp

Did he know that his time was up?

His alleged internet searches would certainly seem to suggest so.

In the year between March 2022 and June 2023, the suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann repeatedly looked online for updates in the investigation police say.

He searched for details about the victims and their families. He googled the use of new phone technology in the case and looked for podcasts and documentaries about the murders. And he even took a keen interest in the newly-launched task force – headed up by newly-appointed Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison – that was actively hunting for him.

On 13 July 2023, as he left his office in Midtown after a day’s work and walked along a busy Manhattan road, a group of suit-clad men approached and surrounded Rex Heuermann.

The gig was finally up.

Mr Heuermann – a 60-year-old married father-of-two, professional architecture, Manhattan business owner and Long Island native – was arrested and charged with the murders of Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.

So how did they find the Gilgo Beach killer suspect?

How did they catch the Gilgo Beach killer?

Interview: Attorney for Gilgo Beach murder suspect’s children hits back at claims family knew about alleged crimes

Tuesday 16 January 2024 14:00 , Rachel Sharp

An attorney representing the adult children of suspected Gilgo Beach serial killer Rex Heuermann has hit out at the “wild conspiracy theories” that the family may have known about his alleged crimes.

Vess Mitev told The Independent that the unfounded accusations “shouldn’t even be dignified with a response” – as he said that the family has been plunged into a “constant surreal waking nightmare” since the bombshell arrest of the 59-year-old professional architect.

“These allegations shouldn’t even be dignified with a response,” he said.

“But they are emblematic of someone with a thirst for the spotlight – an unquenchable thirst.”

The pushback from Mr Mitev, who began representing Victoria Heuermann, 26, and Christopher Sheridan, 33, after their father’s arrest, comes after Long Island attorney John Ray accused Mr Heuermann’s wife Asa Ellerup of being involved in her husband’s alleged killing spree.

Read the full interview here:

Attorney for Gilgo Beach suspect’s children slams claims family knew about crimes

What’s happening today?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 14:17 , Kelly Rissman

Rex Heuermann is expected in court again today.

Reports suggest he will be charged with the murder of a fourth woman, whose body was found dumped along the shores of Long Island over a decade ago.

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney is slated to announce what is tipped to be a “significant development” in the investigation into the Gilgo Beach killings in a press conference on Tuesday morning after a court hearing.

Read the full story...

Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect expected to be charged with fourth murder

New charges unveiled

Tuesday 16 January 2024 14:38 , Kelly Rissman

Heuermann has been charged with the murder of a fourth victim — this time he’s accused of murder in the second degree in connection to the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes, according to reports.

Brainard-Barnes was last seen alive in July 2007, when she left a motel in Manhattan to meet a client for sex work.

At the time, the 25-year-old was living in Norwich, Connecticut, but had travelled to Manhattan in early July where she was staying at and working out of the Super 8 Motel on 59 West 46th St.

Rachel Sharp has the full story...

Rex Heuermann charged with murder of fourth Gilgo Beach victim

What happened to Maureen Brainard-Barnes?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 14:52 , Rachel Sharp

Maureen Brainard-Barnes was last seen alive in July 2007, when she left a motel in Manhattan to meet a client for sex work.

At the time, the 25-year-old was living in Norwich, Connecticut, but had travelled to Manhattan in early July where she was staying at and working out of the Super 8 Motel on 59 West 46th St.

She was known to advertise her services on Craigslist, Backpage and other websites under the names of Juliana or Marie.Just before midnight on 9 July 2007, Brainard-Barnes called a friend in Connecticut to say she would be going to meet a client on an “out-call” outside of the motel.

She was never seen or heard from again.

Over three years later in December 2010, her remains were discovered dumped in the remote marshes along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach.

Her body had been bound by three leather belts, one of which was embossed with the initials “W.H.” or H.M.”

Tuesday’s charges mean that Heuermann has been charged with all four of the “Gilgo four” murders.

The suspected killer’s relatives are attending his court hearing

Tuesday 16 January 2024 15:10 , Kelly Rissman

Lawyer for suspected killer’s estranged wife says new charges ‘makes clear’ she had ‘no involvement’ in the killings

Tuesday 16 January 2024 15:18 , Kelly Rissman

ICYMI: What charges is Rex Heuermann facing?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 15:30 , Kelly Rissman

The accused killer is already charged with the murders of three women – Megan Waterman, Melissa Barthelemy and Amber Costello.

Today, he was charged with the murder of a fourth woman.

While it wasn’t previously clear which of the 11 victims recovered from the Gilgo Beach area Heuermann could be accused of killing, he was previously named as the prime suspect in the murder of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Reports indicated that he is now accused of murdering Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Who are the ‘Gilgo Four’?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 15:45 , Kelly Rissman

Rex Heuermann has been charged with a fourth murder, now being fully accused of killing the Gilgo Four.

All four had disappeared in similar circumstances; each working as sex workers who advertised on Craigslist and vanished after going to meet a client. Brainard-Barnes was the first to go missing.

Their bodies were all found within days of one another during a search for Shannon Gilbert, a 24-year-old woman working as a sex worker. She had disappeared in May 2010 after calling 911 for help after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach.

In the chilling call, she is heard repeatedly telling the 911 operator that “somebody’s after me” and saying that she feared for her life.

She was never seen alive again.

What do the fresh charges say?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 16:05 , Kelly Rissman

Heuermann was second-degree murder for the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes in July 2007.

He joined his wife and children in Atlantic City a week after his family arrived, the superseding indictment states.

“Based on the foregoing, the murders of all four victims occurred at times when Defendant Heuermann’s wife and children were traveling out of state, which allowed Defendant Heuermann unfettered time to execute his plans for each victim without any fear that his family would uncover or learn of his involvement in these crimes,” the filing says.

ICYMI: How were the bodies found?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 16:20 , Kelly Rissman

The horror discovery began back in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a young woman also working as a sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach. She called 911 for help saying she feared for her life and was never seen alive again.

During a search for Gilbert in dense thicket close to the beach, police discovered human remains.

Within days, four victims – that of the “Gilgo Four” – had been found.

By spring 2011, the number of victims rose to 10.

Gilbert’s body was then found in December 2011.

Her cause of death is widely contested with authorities long claiming that it is not connected to the serial killer or killers but that she died from accidental drowning as she fled from the client’s home.

However, an independent autopsy commissioned by her family ruled that she died by strangulation and her family continue to believe she was murdered.

So far, no charges have been brought in connection to the other victims also found along the shores.

Read the full story...

Gilgo Beach serial killer suspect expected to be charged with fourth murder

What took so long for the charges related to Maureen Brainard-Barnes to be brought?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 16:26 , Kelly Rissman

The Suffolk County DA Ray Tierney said at a press conference on Tuesday that they were awaiting the result of a DNA test regarding the hair found on a belt that was restraining Brainard-Barnes.

The prosecutors used a nuclear DNA test, which the DA called “cutting edge” as apparently “everyone has separate nuclear DNA profile.”

The test showed a damning find. “The DNA profile generated from the Female Hair on Barnes...is 7.9 trillion times more likely to have come from a person genetically identical” to Asa Ellerup, Heuermann’s wife, “than from an unrelated individual,” the indictment said.

“Ms. Ellerup and Victoria Heuermann were out of the state at the time of these murders, which provides further support that Rex A. Heuermann murdered, restrained, and transported the remains of the victims to Gilgo Beach until they were ultimately discovered in December 2010,” the filing explained.

Time has come to prosecute, DA says after Rex Heuermann charged

Tuesday 16 January 2024 16:50 , Kelly Rissman

The infamous pizza that led to the suspected killer’s arrest

Tuesday 16 January 2024 17:10 , Kelly Rissman

Tuesday’s superseding indictment revealed a photo of a pizza box, which contained Heuermann’s DNA.

Investigators probing Rex Heuermann at the Manhattan office where he worked as an architect watched him throw the pizza box away, according to court documents.

His genotype profile was “developed from an extract of the napkin contained within the pizza box,” the indictment read.

The pizza box that led to the suspected Gilgo Beach murderer’s arrest (Suffolk County DA)
The pizza box that led to the suspected Gilgo Beach murderer’s arrest (Suffolk County DA)

Recap: How were the Gilgo Beach victims murdered?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 17:30 , Kelly Rissman

For more than a decade, the Gilgo Beach murders stumped law enforcement officials in Suffolk County who believed it could be the work of one or more serial killers who targeted sex workers and dumped their bodies along the remote beaches on Ocean Parkway.

The case began in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach.

She called 911 for help, saying she feared for her life, and was never seen alive again.

In the chilling call, released last year, Gilbert is heard repeatedly telling the 911 operator that “somebody’s after me”.

She is also heard arguing with a man – who she refers to as Mike – who appears to be trying to encourage her to get back into a car; at one point, she is heard asking if he is “going to kill” her.

Rachel Sharp has the full story...

The hunt for the Gilgo Beach serial killer

Heuermann’s haunting search history, revealed

Tuesday 16 January 2024 17:50 , Kelly Rissman

The court documents also reveal new chilling details about the suspected serial killer’s use of several online accounts, as well as his disturbing online searches.

Email accounts allegedly used by Mr Heuermann were used “to access and/or conduct searches related to pornography, rape, torture, and sex workers several thousand times”, prosecutors said.

Among the harrowing searches were: “autopsy photos of female”, “stories of rape audio”, “escorts manhattan”, and “very skinny white teen tied up porn”.

Read the full story below...

Rex Heuermann charged with murder of fourth Gilgo Beach victim

Sites and photos related to Maureen Brainard-Barnes

Tuesday 16 January 2024 18:10 , Kelly Rissman

Site on Ocean Parkway where Maureen Brainard-Barnes remains found (Suffolk County Police Department)
Site on Ocean Parkway where Maureen Brainard-Barnes remains found (Suffolk County Police Department)
Long Island Serial Killings
Long Island Serial Killings

Who were the Gilgo Beach victims?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 19:00 , Kelly Rissman

The remains of at least 11 victims were found in the Gilgo Beach area though it remains unclear if they are all the work of the same killer. Many were sex workers who offered escort services on Craigslist or worked in New York City.

The first victim found was Melissa Barthelemy, whose remains were discovered along Ocean Parkway on 11 December 2010 during the search for Shannan Gilbert – a 24-year-old sex worker from New Jersey who vanished after visiting a client in Oak Park and making a chilling 911 call where she revealed fears for her life.

Two days later on 13 December, the remains of three other victims – Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Megan Waterman and Amber Lynn Costello – were found close by.

All three women were known to advertise escort services on Craigslist.

Brainard-Barnes – known as one of the Gilgo Beach Four – was last seen alive in early June 2007 in New York City while Costello was last seen leaving her North Babylon home one day in early September 2010.

Waterman was last seen alive in early June 2010 at a Holiday Inn Express in Hauppauge.

Seven months later, on 26 July 2011, the remains of Jessica Taylor were found in a wooded area in Manorville during the ongoing search for Gilbert. Taylor worked as an escort in New York City.

Valerie Mack also worked as an escort but was last seen alive in Philadelphia in 2000. Her remains were found on two separate occasions in Manorville in 2000 and in Oak Beach in 2011 but she was only identified in 2020 through the use of genetic genealogy.

On 4 August 2023, Long Island officials announced that another victim – known as Jane Doe 7 or Fire Island Jane Doe – had also finally been identified.

Karen Vergata, 34, was last seen alive in Manhattan in 1996 while working as an escort.

Her legs were first found wrapped in plastic at Davis Park on Fire Island’s Blue Point Beach in 1996. Almost exactly 15 years later on 11 April 2011, her skull was found off Ocean Parkway close to some of the other Gilgo Beach victims.

In a press conference announcing her identity, officials refused to confirm whether or not Vergata’s murder may be linked to Mr Heuermann.

Some of the victims have never been identified.

The skeletal remains of an Asian male, aged between 17 and 23 years old, around 5 feet 6 inches tall and with poor dental health, were found along Ocean Parkway in April 2011. He is believed to have died around five to 10 years earlier.

That same day, the remains of a female toddler were discovered. She was later identified as the daughter of the also-unidentified female victim dubbed “Peaches” whose remains were found in Nassau County.

Burner phones seized

Tuesday 16 January 2024 19:30 , Kelly Rissman

Prosecutors also revealed a series of messages sent in March 2020 from a burner phone used by Mr Heuermann to a woman advertising escort work in the Massapequa area.

In the messages, Mr Heuermann appears to be arranging a meeting with the woman based on when his wife is away.

“I WAS FREE TODAY MY WIFE IS OUT FOR THE DAY,” he allegedly wrote.

The accused killer, according to prosecutors, had several burner phones held “in fictitious names and used for illicit activities”.

Two burner phones seized from Mr Heuermann at the time of his arrest – one from his person and one from the office of his Midtown Manhattan architecture firm – had allegedly been used by him to contact sex workers between 2020 and 2023.

In photos: Rex Heuermann in court today

Tuesday 16 January 2024 20:00 , Kelly Rissman

Gilgo Beach-Serial Killings (jtc)
Gilgo Beach-Serial Killings (jtc)
 (AP)
(AP)

What did Tuesday’s filing say?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 20:30 , Kelly Rissman

The Suffolk County DA’s office slapped Rex Heuermann with a fresh charge of second-degree murder in the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes.

Brainard-Barnes was last seen alive on 9 July 2007, when she left a motel in Manhattan to meet a client for sex work.

Just before midnight on 9 July 2007, Brainard-Barnes called a friend in Connecticut to say she would be going to meet a client on an “out-call” outside of the motel.

She was never seen or heard from again.

The superseding indictment reveals phone records and bills that show that Asa Ellerup, his estranged wife, and their children checked into a hotel in Atlantic City from 6 July through 20 July 2007.

Mr Heuermann allegedly stayed behind in New York until 13 July, when he joined his family. On 9 July Brainard-Barnes disappeared.

“Based on the foregoing, the murders of all four victims occurred at times when Defendant Heuermann’s wife and children were traveling out of state, which allowed Defendant Heuermann unfettered time to execute his plans for each victim without any fear that his family would uncover or learn of his involvement in these crimes,” the superseding indictment states.

New evidence revealed in superseding indictment

Tuesday 16 January 2024 21:00 , Kelly Rissman

The superseding indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, found that – based on further DNA testing – the hair found on Brainard-Barnes’ body was 7.9 trillion times more likely to have come from Ms Ellerup than from an unrelated individual.

It also revealed new details about the evidence tying Mr Heuermann to the other three victims.

Prosecutors allege that an analysis of Mr Heuermann’s laptop indicates that he used file shredding software on 9 July 2009, not long before he was to meet with Barthelemy.

“Investigators believe this was an attempt to “shred” any digital evidence of the laptop computer being utilized to search for Melissa Barthelemy’s prostitution advertisement,” the documents state.

Rachel Sharp has the full story...

Rex Heuermann charged with murder of fourth Gilgo Beach victim

Who is Rex Heuermann?

Tuesday 16 January 2024 22:00 , Kelly Rissman

He is a 60-year-old Manhattan architect and married father-of-two.

Dramatic video captured him walking along a Manhattan road when he was suddenly surrounded by plainclothes officers and taken into custody.

Heuermann is president of architecture firm RH Consultants & Associates, a company that he founded in 1994 and where his adult daughter also works.

According to the company website, Mr Heuermann’s company has worked with the likes of Catholic Charities, NYC-DEP Sewerage Treatment and American Airlines and other major tenants at the JFK International Airport.

A company page called Meet The Team and featuring his photo was taken downas news of his arrest broke.

In an interview posted on YouTube by Bonjour Realty last year, the father-of-two said that he was “born and raised in Long Island” but had been “working in Manhattan since 1987... [a] very long time”.

The architecture firm is based in Midtown Manhattan – where some of the Gilgo Beach victims were last seen alive.

According to court records, phone calls made from burner phones and some of the victims’ cellphones can be traced to his office.

In his professional life, some acquaintances described him as arrogant while others said he was “creepy”.

He has now been accused of murdering four women.

Map of where the Gilgo Beach victims were recovered

Tuesday 16 January 2024 23:00 , Kelly Rissman

Map showing sites where victims of Gilgo Beach killer were found along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY (Suffolk County Police Department)
Map showing sites where victims of Gilgo Beach killer were found along Ocean Parkway in Suffolk County, Long Island, NY (Suffolk County Police Department)

Attorney for suspected Gilgo Beach killer’s wife emphasises she was out of town during murders

Wednesday 17 January 2024 00:00 , Kelly Rissman

The timeline of the ‘Gilgo Four'

Wednesday 17 January 2024 03:00 , Kelly Rissman

  • July 2007, Maureen Brainard-Barnes called a friend in Connecticut to say she would be going to meet a client on an “out-call” outside of the motel; she was never seen or heard from again.

  • May 2010: Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker from New Jersey, vanished after visiting a client in Oak Park and making a chilling 911 call where she revealed fears for her life.

  • September 2010: Amber Costello was last seen leaving her North Babylon home

  • That same month, Megan Waterman, 22 , disappeared

  • December 2010: Melissa Barthelemy remains were discovered along Ocean Parkway during the search for Gilbert

  • Days later, the remains of Brainard-Barnes, Waterman and Costello were found nearby

  • Spring 2011: 10 victims had been uncovered

  • December 2011: Glibert’s remains were found

How were the Gilgo Beach victims murdered?

Wednesday 17 January 2024 06:00 , Kelly Rissman

For more than a decade, the Gilgo Beach murders stumped law enforcement officials in Suffolk County who believed it could be the work of one or more serial killers who targeted sex workers and dumped their bodies along the remote beaches on Ocean Parkway.

The case began in May 2010 when Shannan Gilbert, a 24-year-old sex worker, vanished after leaving a client’s house on foot near Gilgo Beach.

She called 911 for help, saying she feared for her life, and was never seen alive again.

In the chilling call, released last year, Gilbert is heard repeatedly telling the 911 operator that “somebody’s after me”.

She is also heard arguing with a man – who she refers to as Mike – who appears to be trying to encourage her to get back into a car; at one point, she is heard asking if he is “going to kill” her.

Read the full story...

Gilgo Beach murders: Time has come to prosecute, DA says after Rex Heuermann charged

Wednesday 17 January 2024 09:00 , Kelly Rissman

What took so long for the charges related to Maureen Brainard-Barnes to be brought?

Wednesday 17 January 2024 12:00 , Kelly Rissman

The Suffolk County DA Ray Tierney said at a press conference on Tuesday that they were awaiting the result of a DNA test regarding the hair found on a belt that was restraining Brainard-Barnes.

The prosecutors used a nuclear DNA test, which the DA called “cutting edge” as apparently “everyone has separate nuclear DNA profile.”

The test showed a damning find. “The DNA profile generated from the Female Hair on Barnes...is 7.9 trillion times more likely to have come from a person genetically identical” to Asa Ellerup, Heuermann’s wife, “than from an unrelated individual,” the indictment said.

“Ms. Ellerup and Victoria Heuermann were out of the state at the time of these murders, which provides further support that Rex A. Heuermann murdered, restrained, and transported the remains of the victims to Gilgo Beach until they were ultimately discovered in December 2010,” the filing explained.

ICYMI: What do the fresh charges say?

Wednesday 17 January 2024 13:00 , Kelly Rissman

Heuermann was second-degree murder for the death of Maureen Brainard-Barnes in July 2007.

He joined his wife and children in Atlantic City a week after his family arrived, the superseding indictment states.

“Based on the foregoing, the murders of all four victims occurred at times when Defendant Heuermann’s wife and children were traveling out of state, which allowed Defendant Heuermann unfettered time to execute his plans for each victim without any fear that his family would uncover or learn of his involvement in these crimes,” the filing says.

Recap: What happened to Maureen Brainard-Barnes?

Wednesday 17 January 2024 14:00 , Rachel Sharp

Maureen Brainard-Barnes was last seen alive in July 2007, when she left a motel in Manhattan to meet a client for sex work.

At the time, the 25-year-old was living in Norwich, Connecticut, but had travelled to Manhattan in early July where she was staying at and working out of the Super 8 Motel on 59 West 46th St.

She was known to advertise her services on Craigslist, Backpage and other websites under the names of Juliana or Marie. Just before midnight on 9 July 2007, Brainard-Barnes called a friend in Connecticut to say she would be going to meet a client on an “out-call” outside of the motel.

She was never seen or heard from again.

Over three years later in December 2010, her remains were discovered dumped in the remote marshes along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach.

Her body had been bound by three leather belts, one of which was embossed with the initials “W.H.” or H.M.”

Tuesday’s charges mean that Heuermann has been charged with all four of the “Gilgo four” murders.